The ViolinSchool Blog

Here's what's new at ViolinSchool.com...
October 19, 2018
G Major: Exercises in Thirds

Here are some exercises for practising the G Major scale in thirds. Make sure you practise slowly, and be very aware of the position of your bowing arm.

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September 20, 2018
1st - 4th Position - Finger Placement Exercises

These incredibly useful left hand exercises will help you to get really familiar with the placing of your fingers in the first four positions.

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September 15, 2018
Social Learning

It's all very well learning the violin through lessons and your own practice sessions. But until you're out there in the real world, playing music with other people, it can all feel a bit theoretical. Of course, it's important to learn solo pieces, and spend time on your own carefully building your technique. In fact, […]

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September 14, 2018
How To Prepare Your Violin Before Starting A Course

If you're about to embark upon a Violin Course, a series of violin lessons, a new school term, or even just a new routine of regular practice, then it makes sense to get your instrument into the best possible condition before you start! There are few things more frustrating (and demotivating!) than diving into a […]

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September 14, 2018
First Finger Fitness

Give your 1st finger a proper exercise session with this first-finger-focused exercise based on quaver and dotted quaver rhythms!

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September 13, 2018
Happy New (Academic) Year!

September is always an exciting time here in London (the home of ViolinSchool). Yes, there's a tinge of sadness that Summer is fading away... but as the nights here begin ever earlier, there's a buzz in the air... it's a time for new things, a time for action, and a time to work hard and […]

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August 20, 2018
Double Stopping in Sixths - Exercises

These exercises are brilliant for practising double-stopped sixths! Use them for intonation work, and to develop a really solid left hand technique!

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August 18, 2018
Left Hand Fingers - Dexterity and Stamina

Is this the ultimate workout for advanced players? If your left hand can survive this, it can survive anything! To prevent cramps, keep your left thumb relaxed...

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August 12, 2018
Hook, Line, & Sinker

Hook, Line, & Sinker is a great study to use for practising hooked bowing. We use this technique to avoid unwanted accents or using too much bow when playing uneven note values. (such as dotted rhythms) in order to avoid unwanted accents on the shorter notes and to stop us from running out of bow!

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July 27, 2018
Intonation Exercises - 1st-7th Position

For a happy marriage of aural and muscle memories, keep the first finger down and learn the distances to the other notes within the hand ‘frame'.

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July 26, 2018
A Major Scale: Rhythm Patterns

Practise your scales with different rhythm patterns, to make your left and right hand movements more independent, and improve your coordination.

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July 10, 2018
Legato, anti-portato

Violinists often play portato (slightly re-articulated notes) instead of legato (smooth and connected). This study will help you to play as legato as possible!

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June 27, 2018
How to Use a Practice Journal To Improve Your Violin Practice

What is a Practice Journal? I like to think of a Violin Practice Journal as less of a physical thing, and more as an approach to keeping a record of your practice. However you choose to keep your journal - notebook, app, word document... or my favourite, old scraps of paper stored in a cardboard […]

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April 20, 2018
Big Circle Exercises

'Big Circles' are simple, straightforward exercises that you can use as a warm up at the beginning of your practice. They're also useful for improving your bow control, and your feeling for the 'balance' of the bow. Before we get started playing Big Circles, we need to be clear about how the balance of the bow […]

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April 15, 2018
Long Slow Bows

Long Slow Bows are one of the best - and most straightforward! - techniques that you can use to warm up on the violin! They're also great for improving your bow technique. Practising Long Slow Bows involves playing lots of up and down bows on your violin. But even though the task isn't complicated, there […]

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April 12, 2018
Super-Smooth Slurred String Crossings!

How's your slurred string crossing technique? We've just added the first video tutorial to course 1D, and it's a smooooth ride for those that string-cross steadily... Or, if you're still getting to grips with music theory, then Setareh has a 'Quick Fix' for your sixteenth notes!

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April 8, 2018
How to Improve Your Rhythm and Note Reading on the Violin

Get to know the open strings of the violin, and how it feels and sounds to play on them. Then practice rhythms with our piece 'Traffic Lights', to get you playing in time on the violin!

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April 4, 2018
How to Warm Up Your Fingers and Hands Before Playing The Violin

Here's Setareh's most recent video, explaining how to warm up the hands and fingers before starting to play. I've found these exercises a really useful way to begin my own violin practice, and I hope you find them useful too! Here's an earlier video with similar exercises for posture and breathing. It's soooo important to get your body […]

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February 15, 2018
The Cuckoo (Le Coucou) – New Sheet Music [Level 5]

Cuckoo! An exclusive arrangement for two violins, by David Worswick, of the fabulously filigree piano piece, ͚Le Coucou͛, by French composer, Louis-Claude Daquin. Click here to download it!

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February 15, 2018
G Minor Arpeggio Exercises - 1st Position

1st Position G Minor Arpeggio exercises featuring different note patterns, rhythms, bowings and articulations. Click here to download it!

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February 15, 2018
Theme from Swan Lake – New Sheet Music [Level 3]

The sublime, sweeping main theme from Tchaikovsky’s much loved ballet, telling the story of Odette, a princess turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer's curse! Click here to download it!

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February 14, 2018
Rhythm Practice: Beats Me!

Let's practice clapping some rhythms together! Click here to download it! Beats Me!  What is music? It’s a surprisingly difficult question to answer! … hard to come up with a satisfactory definition. Here’s our best effort, taken from the ViolinSchool Glossary:  Music – That which contains elements of pitch and/or rhythm and/or timbre, perceivable in some way, and in some way […]

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February 14, 2018
Abracadabra – New Sheet Music [Level 1]

Time to cast some spells! Your bow becomes a magic wand to conjure up some wondrous sounds in this bedazzling little open string piece. Abracadabra!! Click here to download it!

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February 13, 2018
G Major Arpeggio Exercises - 1st Position

Arpeggio-based note patterns, rhythms, bowings, techniques, and articulation exercises in 1st position G major. Click here to download it!

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February 13, 2018
May the 4th Be With You – New Sheet Music [Level 1]

From a galaxy far, far away … comes this fantastic piece for practising landing the 4th finger of the left hand with pinpoint accuracy. Go 4th and conquer! Click here to download it!

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